Coach Is Charged in Assault on Trainer : Police: Mater Dei’s Bruce Rollinson faces prosecution for allegedly choking the team trainer, Lynn Ingram, in a dispute over locking the training room.

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The head football coach at Mater Dei High School was charged with assault this week for allegedly pushing the school’s athletic trainer against a wall and choking her as several students watched, police said Friday.

Bruce Rollinson, a former Mater Dei football star who has taught at the school for 14 years, was notified Wednesday by the Orange County district attorney’s office that he will be prosecuted on the misdemeanor charge, Santa Ana Police Lt. Robert Helton said.

Described in an official school biography as “one of the most popular, admired and respected teachers on campus,” Rollinson allegedly attacked trainer Lynn Ingram about 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 21 at the school, Helton said.


The filing of the charge followed a lengthy police investigation, during which Rollinson remained busy with the Mater Dei football team. On Friday, he coached the 6-4 Monarchs in a divisional playoff game against Redlands High School. He could not be reached for comment.

Ingram, who also could not be reached, “reported to us that while engaged in conversation with (Rollinson) that he shoved her up against a wall and choked her in the presence of several students,” Helton said.

While Helton said he did not know the nature of their exchange, a coach from a rival school said it arose from a longstanding squabble between Rollinson and Ingram concerning the school’s training room.

The rival coach, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, said Ingram repeatedly complained to Rollinson that he was leaving the door to the training room unlocked, making athletic supplies vulnerable to thieves. When she complained again on that Saturday morning last month, there was a confrontation, he said.

Ingram, 28, of Westminster, reportedly received minor neck injuries after Rollinson, 40, of Irvine, allegedly grabbed her with both hands.

“Obviously, I’m aware that charges have been filed,” said Father John Weling, Mater Dei principal. “But things are still up in the air and I can’t make any comment. I’d like to be able to say all kinds of things. They’re two great people.”


Ingram is a graduate of Oregon State University and has worked at the school as a full-time trainer for five years.

Rollinson is a 1967 graduate of Mater Dei, who earned his bachelor’s degree at USC, where he played football and participated in the 1969 and 1970 Rose Bowl games. Rollinson is a history teacher in addition to his coaching duties. He earned a master’s degree two years ago at Azusa-Pacific University, his biography states.

Staff writer Steve Lowery contributed to this report.